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  1. #1

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    TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Universal Studios FL has refurbished it's old "Earthquake" attraction and has re-opened it with a brand new show now called "Disaster Studios".
    While the show follows pretty much the same format as the original presentation.. now, the Earthquake theme is downplayed quite a bit.
    SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

    In the queue, we go pass several artifacts, such a the wreackage of an aircraft..and other faux movie posters about disaster movies.. Once inside in the first preshow area, a casting assistance selects several audience members to participate in the show.. We are also introduced to the CEO of Disaster Studios.. Mr. Kincaid, played by Christopher Walken. This is the single best improvement over the old show.. NO Chuck Heston and his pro-republican, pro-gun agenda here.. Bye Chuck! and take your comandments with you, punk!

    We enter the first theater and we get to meet Mr. Kincaid, and see a montage of films that inspired him to create Disaster genre movies. Walken, as Kincaid, appears on the stage, in 3D form and he introduces us to his work. This is done quite well as we see Walken interacting with the live casting agent and other elements of the set (or projected elements that appear to be live anyways). For those who have seen Animation Celebration at Universal Studios Japan.. well it's the same technical format, you get the idea. This portion of the show goes on for a bit too long and looses the novelty after a while. It needs to be cut back a few minutes.
    Next up is the action shooting stage, where the previously selected volunteers get to do some "reaction" shots for the camera. (we'll see these later on the finished film)

    Once the shooting ends.. we then proceed to board the tram that will take us to the former Earthquake portion of the show. From this point on...the show is similar to what it used to be before when it was called "Earthquake". Guests embark on a subway trip to the next station where we get caught up in an big earthquake that creates fire, flash flood and havoc. WE are being told to scream and react as this is supposed to be a scene for a new disaster film.

    After the Earthquake (special effect) extravaganza has ended, we then return back to the boarding platform... but here is something new... The ride trams have been equiped with suspended TV monitors, and while we are traveling back to our final destination, we get to see the trailer of the movie we (and the volunteers before us) "worked" on. It's a great way to end the ride.

    My thoughts on this are positive. The show was nicely improved from the original version and new elements have been added to make it more enjoyable. It's a great way to engage the guests into "participating" in what would be a real film production, minus the actual conditions of such work..like the long wait times in between takes..and Union breaks etc etc..
    The show will officially be unveiled in January 2008, and it's fun enough to occupy a good 30 mins of your day at USF. My rating is: B. Check it out on your next visit to Universal Studios Florida.

  2. #2

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Sounds like a nice upgrade. Wish they would find a way to spruce up the Jaws attraction as well.
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  3. #3

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    AS a matter of fact... "JAWS" is going down for rehab this month, but I am not sure if there will be upgrade revisions to the ride and I agree they would be most welcomed improvements if they did.

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Awesome review.

    I liked it.

  5. #5

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    will have to check this out when we go ride the simpson's ride. let's see if they keep going it will be kids area next that gets redone.Jaws is one of the most popular rides in the park so I don't think they will do much to it.

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Sounds like a nice upgrade. Wish they would find a way to spruce up the Jaws attraction as well.
    Personally I love Jaws just like it is as long as you get a good skipper. The entire quality of the ride is dependent on having a good skipper. If you have a good one the ride is amazing, if not, not so much. Its much like Jungle Cruise in that respect.

  7. #7

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Well I will have to check it out! I will take pics! I am going to get better about taking pictures at all the theme park events I go to!
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  8. #8

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Thanks for the update!


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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Sounds like some pretty good improvements.

    Thanks for the review sir.


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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Quote Originally Posted by kcnole View Post
    Personally I love Jaws just like it is as long as you get a good skipper. The entire quality of the ride is dependent on having a good skipper. If you have a good one the ride is amazing, if not, not so much. Its much like Jungle Cruise in that respect.
    I disagree. Even with a good skipper, this ride is dated and below par to what Universal is doing with some of the other rides. For the record, I hardly ever ride this in Orlando or Osaka, since both are virtual twins. Of course.. in Osaka, all of the special effects work on cue, which is a hit or miss in Orlando.

  11. #11

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    I think Universal is allowed a few dated attractions considering how many Disney has. And I honestly think the effects of Jaws have held up nicely, all things considered.

    Disaster is definitely an improvement over Earthquake, although they do need to shorten Walken's scene. After a while he just keeps babbling and you just want to move on. I also think they could tweak the speaker system in the trains. I couldn't hear the trailer video from my row.

  12. #12

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Thanks for the review TDLFAN

    to others.. see.. like I've been saying... projections aren't all bad and aren't always just watching a movie screen

    Is the backdrop where the walken scene is done totally dark?
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  13. #13

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    I disagree. Even with a good skipper, this ride is dated and below par to what Universal is doing with some of the other rides. For the record, I hardly ever ride this in Orlando or Osaka, since both are virtual twins. Of course.. in Osaka, all of the special effects work on cue, which is a hit or miss in Orlando.
    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this then. I love the rides with great and amazing special effects, but there's something about Jaws (much like with the Jungle Cruise) that just makes me adore this attraction. I love it exactly like it is. It has a bit of a campiness about it, while still being quite entertaining. Again it depends on your skipper. I've had some rides that were awful and some that were some of the best theme park experiences I've ever had.

  14. #14

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    I think Jaws is great and yes I do ride it whenever I can....I hope the refurb doesn't take too long as I would hate to miss it next time I go.

    I will check out what they have done with Earthquake..I would have missed it but since it's changed I will give it a go

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    Re: TDLFAN rides "Disaster Studios" at Universal FLA

    Quote Originally Posted by JtnOrl View Post
    I think Universal is allowed a few dated attractions considering how many Disney has.
    I feel you are comparing apples and oranges. The MK at WDW is basically a history museum of rides that showcase 1970s and early 80s technology. USF's rides came much later in the early 90s and they have done quite well on their own, but since they are so preocuppied with beating and mimicing Disney, it would be to their advantage to showcase the best technology out there since Disney is sleeping in their laurels now a days... but beginning to catch up with the newer improvements. Why do you think "Spiderman" was so wildly popular from day 1?

    Disaster is definitely an improvement over Earthquake, although they do need to shorten Walken's scene. After a while he just keeps babbling and you just want to move on.
    Totally agree on this. I even commented on that up above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flynnibus
    Is the backdrop where the walken scene is done totally dark?
    No. Walken's image is projected onto a diagonal (but virtually invisible) screen that, when viewed from the audience, Walken appears to be live on the real set, interacting with objects and the live casting actor who serves as our attraction host. Remember the Astuter Computer Review at EPCOT Center... or the Animation Celebration show feat. Woody Woodpecker at Universal Japan... similar trick.

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